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Playing Golf Disabled Lesson 2
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Playing Golf Disabled Lesson 2

Well are you ready to start swinging a “real” golf club, and play golf with a disability? Hopefully you have been practicing with your putter as described in the last lesson because we are going to build on that lesson to start this one#

Swinging an iron starts with a completely different grip than you used with the putter# There are three accepted ways to grip the rest of your clubs# All of them will work well for amputee and disabled golfers# It’s just a matter of what feels the most comfortable and which one will allow you the best results with your swing# Please try all three before you decide which one you are going to use# The three are:

1) The interlocking grip where you interlock your little finger on the right hand with your fore finger on the left hand#

2) 2) The overlapping grip, where you grip with the left hand and overlap your little finger over the left index finger#

3) The baseball grip, where you grip the club just as you would a baseball club#

Check out the photos Then let’s start with a pitching wedge Take a stance with your feet spread about the same distance apart as your shoulder width. Take your grip and set the club in the center of your stance to start. With light grip pressure and your arms relaxed place the club on the ground with the sole of the club flat on the ground and at a right angle to your target. Now bring the club back about 30 degrees and swing it forward about 30 degrees past center without bending your wrist or elbows just brushing the ground. Try this three or four times, to get the feel of the club. Your weight should stay slightly on your front foot as you finish the stroke. Now place a golf tee on the ground where the club brushes the ground. Practice sweeping the tee off of the ground and straight forward.

If you have an above the knee amputation, you may have trouble with your knee buckling as you shift your weight. If so just move your front leg a few inches back away from the ball and keep your legs and hips in balance to make the swing. Golf is all about hitting the ball and staying in balance. Most individuals with lower body disabilities or leg amputees like me work with balance issues on a daily basis. Amputee golf is all about staying in balance and making a smooth swing.

Try this with all three grips described above to see which grip gets the best results. If you have only one arm forget the grip instructions. However you should try this exercise right and left foot forward to see which way gets the best results. This will help you determine if you are going to use right or left handed clubs. Practice this until you can sweep the tee off the ground and straight forward every time. It is important that you keep your eyes on the tee and your head still while swinging. To get a good feel for this move try it with your eyes closed.

Okay now let’s try hitting some balls. With the tee on the ground in the hitting position place a ball ½ inch behind the tee. Now using the same swing motion try to hit the tee and just let the ball get in the way. Try this with all three grips to see which grip works best. Adjust your position closer or further from the ball so you are striking the ball in the center of the club face. You can color the face of the club with a dry erasable marker to see where on the face you are hitting the ball. Make adjustments until you are hitting the ball on the center of the face.

Set a bucket or chipping net about 20 to 30 feet in front of you as a target and try to hit it with the ball using all three grips. Depending on your amputation or disability you may have to adjust your stance or your grip on the club to hit the target. Practice this stroke with your pitching wedge and 9 iron. This basic swing is used to pitch or chip the ball and is probably the second most used shot in golf.

The great thing about chipping and putting is it can be done without shifting your weight or turning your hips. This makes it an easy stroke for amputees. And since it is a slow controlled swing, arm amputees can develop the control and hand eye coordination you will need to start making a full swing later.

I hope you are enjoying and learning from these disabled and amputee golf tips. My hope is that they will help you lead an active life and overcome your amputation or other disability. I feel playing a sport and enjoying the outdoors is a great way to enjoy life.

Street Talk

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